GAATES Award of Recognition

2016 – Ernest Tannis

Ernest Tannis, GAATES Honourary Counsel received the award in honour of his outstanding dedication to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, fostering access to justice and promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

2015 – Svayam

svayam-receiving-award-in-2015-web-2016-11-08Svayam is an initiative of Sminu Jindal Charitable Trust based at New Delhi, India and works for promoting dignity for people with reduced mobility. Svayam is presented with the GAATES award in recognition of its outstanding leadership in the field of accessible transportation and for serving as the Permanent Secretariat for the International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED), and for providing an invaluable global platform for knowledge-sharing, innovation and research.



2014 – Zero Project

Zero Project receiving the GAATES Award of Recognition Front: Aqeel Qureshi, Marnie Peters Rear: Tom Butcher, Mukhtar AlShibani, Jacob Von Uexkull, Michael Fembek, Frederique Wiemeijer, Betty Dion, Eva Maikisch, Ingrid Heindrof

In 2014, Zero Project was the recipient of the GAATES Award of Recognition, with special recognition given to Mr. Martin Essl, Mr. Jacob Von Uexkull and Mr. Michael Fembek. This award recognizes their leadership in providing the platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices in independent living and political participation (2015), accessibility (2014) and employment (2013), and for facilitating the on-going global implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

2013 – Betty Dion

Betty Dion

Betty Dion is one of the GAATES Founders and is currently the Past President. She is internationally recognized for her contributions to accessibility in Canada and worldwide. This GAATES Award of Recognition was presented to Betty in recognition of her dedication to Universal Design, accessibility and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

2012 – Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

He is the founder and chairman of the Prince Salman Center for Disability and Research.  He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Disabled Children Association.

2012 – Cynthia Waddell – Honorary GAATES Award Recipient

Cynthia Waddell Honorary GAATES Award of Recognition

Cynthia Waddell was a well-known advocate for the fair and equal treatment of people with disabilities under the law. She spoke around the world on the subject of the Internet and the fair and accessible presentation of information for everyone. She was internationally recognized as an expert in the accessible design of ICTs and employment.

2011 – Mr. Sha Zukang – Under Secretary-General – Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Akiko Ito with Mukhtar AlShibani accepting GAATES Award of Recognition plaque being presented to UN DESA and Mr Sha Zukang in NYC Sept 2011

The award was presented to UN DESA (accepted by Ms. Akiko Ito, Chief of the Secretariat for the CRPD/ UN Focal Point on Disability UN DESA) in recognition of its distinguished global support for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in recognition of the dedication, leadership and vision provided by the professionals on the UN DESA team.

2011 – Her Highness Shaikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned

This Award is in recognition of her distinguished global support for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and accessibility enablement.

2010 – Tom  Rickert – USA

GAATES Award of Recognition recipient Tom Rickert

Tom Rickert is the founder and Executive Director of Access Exchange International (AEI), an NGO with over twenty years of experience in promoting accessible transportation and public transit for persons with disabilities and seniors in less-wealthy countries around the world.

2009 – Mohammed Tarawneh – JORDAN

GAATES Award of Recognition recipient Mohammed Al-Tarawneh accepting award

Mohammed Tarawneh was the first Chairman of the UN Monitoring Committee responsible for the “Conventions of the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD)”.

2008 – Eduardo Alvarez – URUGUAY

GAATES Award of Recognition recipient Eduardo Alvarez with award

Eduardo Alvarez is the Chair of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee ISO TC 59/SC 16 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment.

2007 – Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Her Highness is the Vice President of the Family Supreme Council in Sharjah, and Director General of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. It provides care and rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities in the United Arab Emirates.

2006 – Sarah Langton – Lockton – UNITED KINGDOM

Sarah Langton-Lockton became the Chief Executive Officer of the “Centre for Accessibility Environment” two years after she first served as an Information Officer in 1977. Sarah was awarded the inaugural GAATES Award of Recognition.